3
votes
2answers
69 views

Is there a term for if someone uses their own words on idioms consciously?

For example, instead of "barking up the wrong tree", someone uses "pulling out the wrong plant". Consciously or not, is there a term for saying idioms in your own words?
6
votes
1answer
102 views

Term for distinctive wasp flight pattern

Many wasps have a characteristic way of flying back and forth while approaching the opening to their nest (see for example the intro paragraph in this Wikipedia article on yellow jackets). Is there a ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

What does “do a take 5” mean?

The context is “We will always do a TAKE 5 prior to undertaking work”. I have no idea what a “take 5” is. I searched “take 5” on Google but I didn’t find an applicable explanation. Here is the ...
10
votes
4answers
41k views

Meaning of “reach out to somebody”

The dictionary explains this as: To show somebody that you are interested in them and/or want to help them The explanation indicates the subject of the sentence is the one that offers help, but ...
3
votes
3answers
177 views

Are “academic society” and “industrial society” correct?

I'm writing a Personal Statement and I need to say something like "this research topic is hot in both academic society and industrial society". Are these phrases correct?
15
votes
4answers
2k views

“Let's burn that bridge when we come to it” – is this sort of idiom mixing considered a pun, and if so, does it have a specific name?

I couldn't come up with a short title, but the upside is that there is not much needed to be said in the body of the question! For @dmr (and others), it mixes “let's cross that bridge when we come ...
8
votes
2answers
533 views

Why is the current unrest in the Arab world called the “Arab Spring”?

Does spring in "Arab Spring" refer to the season - or something else?
3
votes
1answer
16k views

This weekend vs Next weekend [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What day is next Tuesday? Imagine that it's Monday, the 1st. The weekend would be the 7th & 8th. How do you refer properly to the coming weekend, "This weekend" or ...
13
votes
4answers
950 views

What are exchanges like “How are you,” “I'm fine,” and “See you later” called?

Some verbal/written exchanges convey almost no meaning but are part of the protocol of conversation. For example, somebody greets you with "How are you?" and they're not usually not listening for ...
5
votes
3answers
587 views

Where did the “three fingered salute” come from?

Where did the phrase "three-fingered salute", meaning to press CTRL-ALT-DELETE on the keyboard, come from? As the "two-fingered salute" appears to be a mainly British gesture, I suspect the ...
6
votes
4answers
446 views

Is domain-specific meaning acceptable/advisable when used in a document directed outside the domain?

Here's the problem. Many common terms in the programmer's lexicon--i.e., used in information communication and in published texts--are identical to everyday words; others are slight 'distortions' of ...
26
votes
4answers
13k views

How does the phrase “used to” work, grammatically?

It is common to hear people say "used to" to indicate that they did something in the past but no longer do; for example, "I used to play basketball." How would "used to," used in that context, fit ...